Three Steps to a Winning Live Chat Experience
A live chat agents working from home sits at a desk in front of a window taking notes.

Take your live chat experience from ordinary to extraordinary with these three tips from JetSpring chat experts.

Live chat has quickly become one of the most popular, effective, and profitable ways to achieve digital sales and offer customer support. Take a look at these recenstats on the benefits of live chat 

  • 46% of customers say live chat is their preferred way to communicate with businesses. 
  • 38% of consumers say they’re more likely to purchase from a company that has live chat. 
  • Using live chat leads to 48% more revenue per hour of chatting and a 40% bump in conversion. 

The data clearly show that customers want to use live chat and that adding it to your marketing and engagement strategy can create some serious gains for your business. The good news is that there’s no shortage of live chat solutions for you to choose from: there are literally hundreds of options for businesses of all sizes and budgets, from inexpensive software-only live chat for small businesses to fully managed outsourced contact centers. With so many choices, first set your business goals, then choose a product that will help you meet them.

No matter what solution makes sense for your business, here are three things you can do to make sure that you get it right with live chat:  

1. Make sure your live chat is available 24/7.

The internet has made it possible for businesses to stay open long after “business hours” have endedThis has changed the way that people shop and, in turn, what they expect of a digital shopping experience. Over 50% of all customers now expect businesses to be open around the clockand it makes sense: if most people are at work from 9-5, it stands to reason that the most convenient time to browse online would fall outside of that time range. (The peak hour for online shopping is from 8pm-9pm.)

Even if you don’t have an ecommerce business, it still benefits your brand and customers to offer 24/7 live support. Whether your prospects are browsing, researching, or looking for expert guidance, providing them with the option to engage with a live expert sends a clear message about how your brand values its customers.

Related: Live Chat for Higher Ed: Do’s and Don’ts

2. Make sure there’s a live person there to answer your customers’ questions.

Chatbots are one of the latest developments on the live chat scene, and they’re only getting more popular over time. By 2022, one study predicts that 75-90% of customer requests will be handled by chatbots. Chatbots are an amazing tool that, when used in conjunction with live agents, can confer amazing cost savings and customer experience benefits. However, taking live agents completely out of the live chat equation is rarely the path to happier customers.

Most of us have probably had at least one frustrating chatbot experience; either we get stuck in a loop of wrong answers, or there’s simply no direct path to the answers or information we need. Whatever it is, chatbot-only experiences run the risk of making it harder, not easier for customers to engage with your brand.  Even if you do use a chatbot to prequalify chatskeeping a live agent on the line ensures that customers will never have to deal with the frustration of hitting a wall when they try to get the answers they need.

3. Make sure it’s a brand-aligned experience. 

Your brand isn’t just your logos, colors, slogan, or product line: your brand includes every aspect of the customer’s experience when they’re engaging with your business on– or offline. Much in the way that a clothing store might light candles, play music, or create a dress code for its employees, you should treat your live chat visitors the same way you’d treat customers stepping through your physical storefront. If you want to make your live chat into more than just a generic, forgettable customer service experience, you need to take care to select and train quality agents who will use consistent, brand-aligned language and answers. 

Most importantly, however, it’s critical that you provide visitors with an experience that will leave a positive impression and keep them coming back for more. Especially if you have an online-only business, live chat may be the only opportunity your customers have to interact with a real person before they decide to purchase your product or service. Their live chat experience will inform their overall impression of your brand and tell them whether or not your business aligns with their values or meets their needs as a consumer.  

If you have live chat on your website or are looking to add it, implementing these three strategies will set your business ahead of the competition and establish a high-touch brand experience that translates into profitable engagements and improve your bottom line.  

Related: Contact Center vs. Call Center: What’s the Difference?